I’ve recently read a couple of fascinating blog entries by Greg McKeown, CEO of THIS Inc., a leadership and strategy design agency headquartered in Silicon Valley. I wanted to highlight a couple of his ideas here and direct you to his blog. Although written for the business community, McKeown’s thoughts have obvious implication for those in ministry as well.
First, he makes the point that focus and clarity of purpose bring us success. That success in turn brings us many diffuse opportunities, leading to diffuse efforts, leading to lack of clarity and focus. Interruption of this cycle is essential for continued success. Check out the full entry here.
My friend and colleague in ministry Chuck Ridley recently posted some thoughts on creating ownership of ministry on www.churchplanting.com. He observes that this is one of the most significant weaknesses many church planters face. Definitely worth checking out the blog entry if you haven’t seen it already.
Chuck and I are currently at work on a different area of research: creating a template of a disciple. It’s too early in the process to know what will come of it yet, but I’m hoping for an assessment tool that helps us assess discipleship in the same way that Chuck’s church planter assessment tool helps assess church planters.
Phil Strout is the new national director of Vineyard USA. He told me he met with a mentor for two hours every month for 15 years… and never once did the guy ask him how his church was going. The mentor’s first question was always, “How is your soul?” Then about half an hour in, he was ask, “Are you lying to me?” just as a standard ‘coming clean’ question.
I was recently doing a consultation with a group that was working on their leadership development process. One of the key people there was a strong intuitive leader. When it came time for him to verbally express what he was doing in this area, it became apparent that he had many built-in assumptions that felt intuitively obvious to him. The stronger your giftedness in an area, the less aware you are of what you do. You just do it. It seems natural and obvious.
However, unless you become explicit about what you’re doing, you can’t raise up other people to do it. Intuitive leaders have more of a challenge reproducing themselves.
The more you mature as a leader, the more challenging it is for growth. The issues God wants to work on are deeper and not as obvious. Counter-intuitively, the more we grow, the more intentional we need to be about taking time for reflection.
How can we do that? We can be intentional about getting honest 360-degree feedback (from peers, from supervisors, and from those we supervise). We can cultivate deep relationships with people who can truly speak into our lives–people who can walk alongside us to identify what God is up to. We need to go beyond personal reflection to gather meaningful feedback from others who know us well.
Real change and real ministry starts with the leader. That’s you. Are you doing what God would have you do? Are you serving as the hands and feet of Jesus? Is your heart broken for the poor and for the lost? If you are not living into that yourself, with your own life, there’s no way those who follow you will. They look to you to take their cues about what’s important. And they look not to your words, but to your actions.